News from Western Europe, Tuesday 5th February 2013

Europe

Comment – Policy Network: The electoral rise of populism in the Nordic countries. ‘Different strategies for tackling populism have been put forward at different times in different countries. Despite these different strategies, populist parties have – in all countries – increased their support and been able to politicise their main issue(s).’

France

JTA: 100 imams to commemorate Holocaust near Paris memorial site. ‘Monday’s event is planned for Drancy, a suburb of the French capital where tens of thousands of Jews were confined in 1942 before being transported to extermination camps during the German Nazi occupation, according to a report in the French daily Le Figaro. The paper called the event unprecedented.’

RT: French troops protecting Niger mine: Fight for security in Africa or..? ‘French troops have been called to protect one of Niger’s biggest uranium mines as security fears spike. Analyst John Laughland tells RT, that France taking the military lead in Mali and coming to Niger might be a sign of a continent-size interest.

Niger’s President Issoufou asked his counterpart Hollande for military help after the recent hostage crisis at an Algerian gas plant and over the growing threat of militant attacks since France launched its Operation Serval in neighboring Mali.’

Germany

Der Spiegel: Suicide Attack: German Prosecutors Were Probing Ankara Bomber. ‘The suicide bomber who blew himself up in front of the US Embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday had been known to German criminal investigators for years.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office had been investigating Ecevit S. since early 2011 because it suspected him of being a member of a foreign terrorist group. A spokesman for the office said S. was suspected of having been a member of the left-wing extremist group “Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front” (DHKP/C), which is banned in Germany.’

Influx from the Southeast: German Cities Complain of High Immigration. ‘Immigration to Germany from southeastern Europe has dramatically increased in recent years and the country’s municipalities are struggling to absorb the influx. Now, German cities are taking a close look at the problem and may ask for help from Berlin or even the European Union.’

Norway

The Nordic Page: Norway Will Send Soldiers to Africa. ‘Nearly half of Norwegians support the Norwegian military forces’ engagement in the war in North Africa. In a poll Sentio did for the Norwegian daily Klasse Kampen a week after the terrorist attack against the Statoil gas plant in Algeria, 43 percent of the respondents said Norway should send military forces to North Africa.’

Spain

Al Jazeera: Spanish Public Support for Ruling Party Declines. ‘Public support for Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his ruling People’s Party (PP) has significantly fallen in the wake of a corruption scandal, according to an opinion poll.

Media reports over the last two weeks have alleged that at least a dozen top party officials, including Rajoy, received kickbacks from a slush fund operated by its former treasurer.

The survey, revealed on Sunday, showed 23.9 percent of the public voting for the PP – the lowest level since the 2011 election and down from 29.8 percent in the same poll last month.’

CNN: ‘The things that are attributed to me are false,’ Spanish prime minister says. ‘Allegations of high-level corruption in Spain’s ruling conservative party followed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to Berlin, where on Monday he strongly denied that he or other top conservatives had accepted secretive cash payments from the party for years.

“The things that are attributed to me are false. I can say it again today,” Rajoy said at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It was the first time he taken questions from reporters since the Spanish newspaper El Pais published allegations about the payments Thursday.’

Sweden

DM: SD: M plagiarize our policy. ‘Minister Billström told DN on Friday that a new working group of Conservatives must formulate the party’s new immigration and integration policy, and one of the main points is how Sweden should reduce immigration [...]

Sweden Democrats accuse the Conservatives of plagiarism. In a press release writing section:

“It is clear that within the Conservatives and the rest of the alliance is concerned about the Sweden Democrats’ success, and therefore tries to plagiarize our policy.”‘

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